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tv   The Colbert Report  Comedy Central  July 21, 2011 1:00pm-1:30pm PDT

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join us tomorrow night at 11:00. here it is, your moment of zen. >> we were looking at going... reverting into a depression at that point. everyone, the fed chairman... >> i don't agree that we were going into a depression. >> ready to go captioning sponsored by comedy central [theme song playing] [cheering and applause]
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[audience chanting "stephen"] >> stephen: fantastic. that is amazing. that was incredible. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to "the report." good to have you with us. thank you. folks, i got to compliment you. i have never heard... i have never heard such mindless chanting with military precision. folks, like everyone in the world, i have so much sympathy for rupert murdoch. [laughter] just look at that sad, i'm going the say face. well, the "news of the world" phone hacking scandal has been disastrous for poor rupi. he's had to shut down his most profitable u.k. paper, top employees have been arrested and
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news corp lost $7 billion of market value in four days. [cheering and applause] folks, i wouldn't be surprised if fox news had the make some budget cuts. [laughter] get ready for their new morning show, ""fox and furniture". now, yesterday murdoch was hauled before parliamentary committee to have his bangers mashed when the unthinkable happened. >> a man identified as activist and comedian johnny marvel charged rupert murdoch with a shaving cream pie. [laughter] >> stephen: activist and comedian? that makes no sense. you can't use comedy to make political points. [laughter] i mean, thank god the attack was deflected by this woman. murdoch's beautiful adoptinged chinese wife wendi.
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folks, i was horrified. he is 80. he can't digest pie. but then i found out that the instant murdoch was hit with that pie, news corp stock spiked, regaining $395 million in market value in five minutes. apparently the pie-ing humanized murdoch. listen to how the meeting ended. >> i would like to apologize again for the wholly unacceptable treatment you received from a member of the public. >> stephen: his paper spied on a murder girl and they're apologizeing to him. it's this is brilliant. he needs to be hit with more pies. now, folks, this is england, so perhaps a scalding mincemeat or a savory steak and kidney or a snout and pancreas because clearly this works. even the sharks celebrating murdoch's downfall felt bad for him. >> you can't help feel a little
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sorry for the guy. he's 80 years old. >> i was saddened today. he's 80 years old. he look as if someone has come across him with a cricket bat. >> stephen: my god, that's perfect. i've got to think outside the pie. what else could we hit him with? how about a shot to the nuts with a soccer ball? come on, he gets sympathy and it would be funny. not activist comedian funny, but still, funny. [laughter] nation, for as long as there has been an america, there have been irregularities at the polls. for instance, did you know that many voting booths do not have hooks to hang up your pants, and these irregularities are very suspicious. for instance, in 2008, none of my friends at the club voted for barack obama, and yet supposedly he won. and my club's not some out-of-touch enclave. we're very multicultural. last week they served mojitos.
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and when people i don't like get elected, there's only one explanation. >> allegations of voter fraud continue to pop up all across the country. >> voter fraud. >> voter fraud. >> voter fraud. >> voter fraud. >> stephen: yes, voter fraud. take ohio, a crucial swing state in the last few elections. there a statewide survey of votes cast in 2002 and 2004 found that out of nine million and 78 thousand votes, there were four instances of fraud. that is a jaw-dropping 44/1 millionth of 1%. folks, our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small it could be hiding anywhere. now, some say these numbers indicate there is no widespread fraud means there is no widespread fraud. wrong! just listen to ohio state republican representative bob mecklenborg, who said of voter fraud, "i believe it happens, but it's proving a negative.
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it's impossible to prove a negative. how do you prove that fraud doesn't exist there?" yes, it's impossible to move a negative, that's why i believe in voter fraud and why no one will ever convince me that this is not butter. it's delicious. but, folks, it came out of a cow. it came out of a cow. but the most insidious form of fraud is people voting wrong. ask republican new hampshire house speaker william o'bryant, who back in january said this about college kids at the polls: >> what are you going to do? >> it's life experience. they just vote. >> yes, college kids lack the life experience to vote. it takes years of soul-crushing disappointment to be dead enough
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inside to elect someone like william o'brien. now, thankfully republican lawmakers in texas, georgia, indiana, wisconsin, kansas, tennessee and south carolina have all passed laws that require voters to show government-issued photo i.d. it makes sense, after all, you have to show a government-issued i.d. to buy liquor, and voting can also make you wake up in the morning and say, "what did i do" and then throw up in a trash can. >> it will make it harder to register to vote and vote. >> it's a poll tax. >> they're trying to keep poor people from votings, the minority from voting, the elderly from voting. we are not stupid. >> stephen: well, that's the difference between us, madam. these laws aren't designed to keep those democrats from voting. they're designed to keep the
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wrong people from voting. >> why do we have these campaigns saying, we have to get all the young people to vote? young people often don't know anything. let's stop saying everyone should vote. voting is important. >> if people cannot even feed and clothe themselves, should they be allowed to vote? [audience reacts] >> if you're not a property owner, sorry, but property owners have more of a vesting steak in the community than non-property owners. >> that's tea party nation founder judson phillips. he knows the founding fathers were property owners, and some of the descendants of that property just shouldn't vote. now, there have to be standards, folks. like the new law in texas that won't allow a student i.d. to be used for the purpose of voting but will allow concealed handgun licenses. if anything, this will expand the volter roles. in texas it's way easier to get a gun than a college degree.
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but i am most proud of the new anti-fraud legislation in my home state of south carolina. jim? >> it's being called one of the nation's toughest voter i.d. laws out there. under the new law, voters will be required to show a driver's license, military imd. or passport. >> stephen: and i happen to know it's easy to get a south carolina photo i.d. i made them all the time in high school. and gaston mountabank still shows up every year around tax time. [cheering and applause] but the knot on my tie is bigger than on my head. and i am not the only one who doesn't see a problem here, folks. neither does south carolina governor nikki haley. jim? >> find me those people that think this is invading their
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rights and i will go take them to the d.m.v. myself and help them get that picture i.d. >> stephen: okay. everybody just pile into nikki haley's car, but you are going to want to call shotgun because according to the state election commission, she'll have to pick up 178,000 voters in south carolina who don't have photo i.d.s. i'm sure she'll be able to pick them all up in her p.t. cruiser, though a lot of those voters are black, so she might get pulled over. but even then it is possible the wrong people could get elected. that's why we need something a little more selective than a photo i.d. i tell you what, these i.d. laws prove republican legislators are great judges of who should vote, so let's just cut out the middle man and let only republican legislators be voters. that way we will finally be certain that only the right people get elected. we'll be right back. [cheering and applause] impressive resume.
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>> stephen: thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen, welcome back. nation, we know the tone of our political discourse in washington hits a new low every day. how are we supposed to get past the partisan rancor when the democrats are complete [bleeped]. [laughter] thankfully one man in congress is standing up and saying enough. florida republican congressman
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and black david letterman allen west. [laughter] after west spoke on the house floor in support of the g.o.p.'s cut, cap and balance bill, fellow florida congresswoman and home perm after-model debbie wasserman-shultz viciously attacked him, so he fired off an e-mail taking wasserman-shultz to task. "look, debbie, i understand that after i we parted the house floor you directed your floor speech comments directly to me. you want a personal fight, i am happy to oblige. you are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the u.s. house of representatives. if you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face. otherwise shut the heck up. focus on your own congressional district. you have proven repeatedly that you are not a lady, therefore shall no be afforded due respect from me, steadfast and loyal, congressman allen b. west." slam aram ma.
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that's how you bring civility back the washington, by calling someone a vile coward. now, in contrast to debbie here, congressman west knows how the treat an opponent with basic human decency. when he was in the military and wanted answers from an iraqi policemen named yehay hamoody, he didn't wad mouth hamoody behind his back. he simply fired a pistol next to his head. that's what a gentleman does to someone who turned out to be incident, but this not-a-lady doesn't get it. jimmy, i hesitate to say this, but open the c-span sewer and show us the vile she spewed at this good man. >> the gentleman from florida who represents thousands of medicare beneficiaries, as i do i, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for medicare beneficiaries. unbelieverrable from a member
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from south florida. >> stephen: you whore. oh, my god. i need to swab out my ears with penicillin, you hard lot. i feel dirty just having this picture up. how dare you spill such filth in the hallowed halls of congress. what kind of $3 brothel were you raised in, you little devil slut. you are no lady. how dare you make a brief reference to a gentleman whose name you did not specify. the next time you have something to say to allen west, have the courage to say it to his face, like he did to you in an e-mail. we'll be right back. [cheering and applause] woman: saving for our child's college fund was getting expensive.
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everybody. thank you. my guest tonight is a harvard professor of philosophy. i'll ask him, what is the sound of one audience clapping?
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please welcome michael sandell. [cheering and applause] thank you. professor, please, sit down. all right. sir, let's get the crm v. out here. it's kind of impressive for those who like things. you're a professor at harvard, so you're smarty pants. you have thought political philosophy since 1980. you teach a special undergraduate court called "justice." 15,000 students have taken it so far. you can watch this on youtube. you can buy the whole thing on d.v.d. "justice: what is the right thing to do." i'll bite. what's the right thing to do? [laughter] i got my own answer, but what's your answer, smarty pants. yeah. come on, you're the teacher. >> well, especially i teach by asking students questions. >> stephen: fire away.
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>> all right. shall we try one? >> stephen: yeah. >> okay. alex rodriguez of the yankees... >> stephen: sucks. did i get that right? did i get that right? overpaid. is that the answer? >> you know what he makes, $25 million a year. an average schoolteacher. what does an average schoolteacher make? >> stephen: $1.45. [laughter] >> about 45,000 a year. is that fair? >> stephen: yes. what is the teacher's batting average? [laughter] >> probably higher than a-rod's right now, but why... [audience reacts] >> stephen: yep. >> why does a-rod deserve to make that much more than a schoolteacher? >> it is what the market will bear. the market always makes the right decision. >> you think? >> stephen: checkmate i think. i think that was just checkmate.
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>> well, it's a good answer. >> stephen: thank you. >> but why? the invisible hand of the market measures what people want. >> stephen: exactly. what people are willing to pay for. >> right. >> stephen: if he wasn't worth it, he wouldn't get it. and keep in mind, i don't know what qed means. >> but you said before he's way overpaid. how can that be? >> stephen: i'm going to edit that part out. >> okay. [laughter] so this is how it works, but ultimately we don't just stop with a-rod's salary and the schoolteacher's, we use those examples to test big philosophical ideas, justice, fairness, individual rights, property rights, the meaning of the common good, what is it to be a citizen. so what the book does and what the course does is to try to connect big ideas of philosophy with the arguments we have about
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politics and about ethics every day. and my hunch is that if we did that in our public life more generally, our political debates would go a lot better than they're going today. >> stephen: now i happen to think that the answer to "what is the right thing to do" is it is generally that thing that you least want to do. [laughter] it's the thing that never falls off your list but is always at the bottom of your list. and you're always looking the pay someone else to do it. is that anywhere in your equation? >> no. no. [laughter] no. but it is sometimes hard to do the right thing. and the challenge for politics and for moral reasoning is to see if we can do a better jonathan we are doing these days at reasoning, even disagreeing together publicly about big moral questions. so what i'm trying to do in the book and in this course and in
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the online series is to provoke and invite not only students but also the public to address our disagreements in a way that takes on these big questions. >> stephen: you let the public see this, because i can go on the youtube and watch this lecture series for free, and it's a free course on justice. would a student whose family paid $50,000 to go to harvard feel like that is just? [laughter] [cheering and applause] >> i hope some >> stephen: you're big in asia, right? the asian, and i believe that's the correct term, i don't know what the p.c. term is now, asians, chinese are just gobbling up this book. is the book the same for asians or are there different questions of what is just or unjust in those societies? >> well, the book is the same except that it's in chinese
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there, but the issue... >> stephen: that's good marketing. [laughter] >> but i've been astonished by the reaction in east asia generally new york china and japan and korea. i think it's because there is a great hunger for engagement with big ethical questions, questions of political philosophy. >> stephen: let's talk about these ethical questions. you pose very hard ethical questions to your students, questions like cannibalism. how do you pose that question? >> well, if you were stuck in a lifeboat, and this is a true story, stuck in a lifeboat, four sailors, they're starving, days and days pass and the cabin boy is at the bottom of the lifeboat ill. the only way they feel they can survive, the three others, is to kill and eat the cabin boy. would that be the right thing to do? >> stephen: is he well marbled? >> that's terrible. >> stephen: you need to know if he's delicious.
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[laughter] >> that's awful. >> stephen: yes, absolutely. [laughter and applause] it's your question. it never occurred to me to eat the cabin boy. you're the one who said, that guy over there is easy prey. who is the sick one here. so i would say no, it's not right. >> why not? >> stephen: because if i do it to him, somebody might do it to me next. >> they might. but you're... >> stephen: you say they might. obviously i'm next. look at me. i'm delicious. [cheering and applause] >> what are you talking about? [cheering and applause] >> stephen: thank you, professor. professor michael sandell. the book is "justice: what's the right thing to do." we'll be right back.
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